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Ellen Lord Warns of Adversarial Capital Facing Defense Industrial Base

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Ellen Lord, defense undersecretary for acquisition and sustainment and a 2020 Wash100 Award winner, said foreign adversaries may take advantage of the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic to acquire U.S.-developed technologies, Defense News reported Wednesday.

She said Wednesday at a news conference that it “is critically important that we understand that during this crisis, the [defense-industrial base] is vulnerable to adversarial capital, so we need to ensure that companies can stay in business without losing their technology.”

Lord stated that the COVID-19 pandemic “presents a greater attack surface” because of the uncertainty it poses to small businesses and their contracts. “To basically mitigate that uncertainty, that’s why we’re being forward-leaning and over-communicating, probably, to say: ‘We are open,’” she added.

DoD is trying to fight the economic influence of foreign countries like China through the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States and the Trusted Capital Marketplace program.